PETALING JAYA: Zaid Ibrahim has voiced his concern over the treatment of students at tahfiz schools (religious schools) in the country.
Referring to recent reports of how a hostel warden, who is also an ustaz or religious teacher, had beaten and even punched a student until his ribcage was injured, Zaid questioned the rationale for such punishment.
In a series of tweets, the former minister first asked: “How is it that beating children is now part of Islamic education?”
He then took a swipe at Malay right-wing groups, such as Perkasa, who speak up against so many other issues affecting Muslims, calling on them to make a stand on this issue too.
“Perkasa and other Malay rights groups should be on the war path against wardens who beat young boys.”
The other message Zaid tweeted out related his challenge to opposition coalition Pakatan Harapan and how they would deal with the same issue.
“Pakatan should also outline how they will manage tahfiz schools better and how children will not be beaten.”
Yesterday, Harian Metro reported that a 13-year-old boy was beaten with a cane after denying any wrongdoing when questioned over a personal matter by the warden. He was also punched.
The teenager sustained injuries to his ribs and arm.
His father later lodged a police report. According to the Malay daily, the father alleged that this was not the first time his son had been punished by the same person.
The victim was also caned for turning up late for class.
The father also claimed that the ustaz had since apologised for the latest incident and also offered to pay for the medical costs incurred.
The case is being investigated under Section 323 of the Penal Code for voluntarily causing hurt.
The latest incident comes barely a month after Mohamed Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, 11, died from his injuries after being beaten with a rubber hose by an assistant warden at a tahfiz school in Johor.
Thaqif’s legs were both amputated in a bid to prevent infection from spreading. He later went into a coma and died on April 26. -FMT